The laws and customs of Shemini Atzeres & Simchas Torah-Summary & Checklist

Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah

  • The blessing of Shehechiyanu is recited during candle lighting of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah.
  • Time is very precious-Dance!
  • Seder at night: Regular Yom Tov Maariv is followed by Kaddish Shaleim and then Farbrengen. Then Ata Hareisa is recited three times, which is followed by Hakafos, and then Aleinu.
  • Does one still eat in the Sukkah? On Shemini Atzeres outside Eretz Yisrael one eats and drinks in the Sukkah but without a Blessing. In Eretz Yisrael: One does not eat in the Sukkah.
  • Kiddush: On the night of Simchas Torah it is customary for all men to say Kiddush on their own. In the Diaspora, there is no need for each person to make their own kiddush on the night of Shemini Atzeres.
  • Drink wine by meal.
  • On Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah one does not dip the bread of Hamotzi in honey.
  • Hakafos: One dances Hakafos on both nights with extreme joy. The Rebbe Rashab said that one draws down abundance of physical and spiritual blessing through the joy of dancing by Hakafos.
  • One should increase the amount of lights in the Shul in honor of the Sifrei Torah that are removed for Hakafos.
  • During the recital of Kerias Shema Al Hamita on the night of Simchas Torah, one is to make a resolution to spread Torah with Mesirus Nefesh.
  • Marital relations are initially avoided on Simchas Torah.
  • In the Diaspora, Hakafos is not done on Shemini Atzeres day.
  • Yizkor is said on Shemini Atzeres.
  • Announce Mashiv Haruach before Musaf of Shemini Atzeres. However, Vesein Tal Umatar is only said from the 7th of Cheshvan in Israel, and from the 5th/6th of December in the Diaspora.
  • On the eve of Simchas Torah [i.e. Shemini Atzeres in the Diaspora; Hoshana Raba in Eretz Yisrael] one is to read the Parsha of Vezos Habracha, Shnayim Mikra V’echad Targum.
  • In the Diaspora, with the approach of sunset on the afternoon of Shemini Atzeres one enters the Sukkah (and eats or drinks something there) to bid it farewell.
  • One may not prepare on the 1st day of Yom Tov on behalf of the 2nd day.
  • On Simchas Torah, one does not eat or sleep in the Sukkah.
  • The Simchas Torah day Davening: Kaddish Shaleim after Hallel, followed by Kiddush, followed by Ata Hareisa and Hakafos. After the conclusion of Hakafos, Ata Hareisa for Kerias Hatorah is recited, as well as Vayehi Binsoa and the thirteen Middos. Nesias Kapayim is only done by Shacharis. It is done with the same Niggun usually done by Musaf.
  • The day Hakafos: During the day of Simchas Torah, the custom is to only perform 3.5 circles around the Bima as opposed to seven. Nevertheless, all seven liturgies of Hakafos is read. Thus, one reads a single Hakafa for every half circle of the Bimah, for a total of seven half circles corresponding to the reading of the seven Hakafos. All 3.5 circles of Hakafos are performed consecutively without dancing in between or placing Sefer Torah back in Aron or even announcing “Ad Kan Hakafa…”. After the conclusion of the 3.5 circles the congregation dances. At the conclusion, the Sefer Torah is returned to the Aron without saying anything.
  • It is customary for each man to get an Aliyah on Simchas Torah.
  • For Kol Hanearim one person is to say a blessing on behalf of all the children. We do not spread a Tallis over the children.

 

Shemini Atzeres:

*Note for those in Eretz Yisrael: Those who keep only one day of Yom Tov [i.e. residents of Eretz Yisrael] fulfil the customs of Simchas Torah on Shemini Atzeres. See the next Halacha for the full details of the laws and customs of Simchas Torah.

  1. Its spiritual meaning:
  • Receive Divine service for entire year: On the day of Shemini Atzeres the entire Jewish people receive the Divine blessing and assistance for their learning of Torah and service of Hashem of the entire coming year. Just as we begin mentioning rain on Shemini Atzeres, so too we receive the spiritual rain, which is the blessing in our Divine service.
  • Draws down the light of the High Holidays: During the High Holidays, we draw down revelations of G-dliness for the coming year. This is likewise drawn down during the festival of Shemini Atzeres. The only difference is in regarding the method. That which was drawn down during the High Holidays in a mode of awe and reverence is drawn down again on Sukkos, with joy and exuberance. This particularly applies during Shemini Atzeres.
  • Rejoicing: It is a Mitzvah to rejoice on Simchas Torah, in all ways possible. It is the custom of the Jewish people – and hence it is Torah – to rejoice on Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah even more than at Simchas Beis HaShoevah, and more than on a usual Yom-Tov.
  • Time is precious: The Rebbe Rayatz stated in the name of his father, the Rebbe Rashab, that the forty-eight hours of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah should be dearly cherished, for at each moment one can draw bucketsful and barrelsful of treasures both material and spiritual, and this is accomplished through dancing.

  1. Erev Shemini Atzeres:
  • Eating a meal: See Halacha 4G!
  • Taking down and removing furniture from the Sukkah: See Halacha 4H!
  • Shehechiyanu by candle lighting: The blessing of Shehechiyanu is recited during candle lighting of Shemini Atzeres.

  1. Eating in the Sukkah:
  • Diaspora: In the Diaspora, one must eat in the Sukkah on Shemini Atzeres, by both night and day.
  • The blessing of Leisheiv Basukkah is not recited when eating in the Sukkah on Shemini Atzeres.
  • One is obligated to eat the bread meals and 55 grams of Mezonos within the Sukkah on Shemini Atzeres, just as is required on Sukkos itself. Regarding other foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beverages, and the like, from the letter of the law one is not required to eat them in the Sukkah, just as is the law on Sukkos itself. Furthermore, some Poskim rule that one is to specifically not eat these foods in the Sukkah in order to emphasize its lack of Biblical status. Other Poskim, however, rule that those who are meticulous throughout Sukkos to eat even fruits and drink water in the Sukkah may continue to do so as well on Shemini Atzeres. Practically, the final ruling follows the latter opinion. The Chabad custom follows the latter opinion to be meticulous even on Shemini Atzeres to recite Kiddush and eat and drink everything in the Sukkah, both by night and by day.
  • Some Poskim rule that one is not to sleep in the Sukkah on Shemini Atzeres. Other Poskim, however, rule that one is obligated to sleep in it on Shemini Atzeres, just as one is obligated to eat in it. Practically, some have the custom to sleep in the Sukkah even on Shemini Atzeres, while others do not. The Chabad custom is not to do so.
  • Eretz Yisrael: One does not eat or sleep in the Sukkah in Eretz Yisrael on Shemini Atzeres. Furthermore, it is even forbidden to eat/sleep in the Sukkah on Shemini Atzeres unless one makes some form of recognition that shows that the Sukkah no longer maintains its holiness and Mitzvah. For example, in Eretz Yisrael where Erev Shemini Atzeres is Hoshana Raba, one is to remove a 4×4 Tefach area of Sechach from the roofing to show that he is not intending to stay in it for the sake of the Mitzvah. See Halacha 6B!

  1. The prayers:
  • Is Shemini Atzeres called a Chag within the prayer liturgy? Some Poskim rule that Shemini Atzeres is not defined as a Chag/festival in the prayer liturgy. Other Poskim rule it is defined as a Chag. Practically, the final ruling follows the latter opinion to call it a Chag in the prayer liturgy.
  • What is the law if one accidently said “Beyom Chag Hasukkos Hazeh” in Shemoneh Esrei or Kiddush? Some Poskim rule he fulfills his obligation. Other Poskim rule he does not fulfill his obligation and must repeat Shemoneh Esrei. Other Poskim differentiate between Eretz Yisrael in which one does not fulfill his obligation and the Diaspora in which he fulfills his obligation on Shemini Atzeres, which is Safek Shevi’i.
  • Hakafos: It is an ancient custom to perform Hakafos also on Shemini Atzeres just as on Simchas Torah, and to circle the Bima on the night of Shemini Atzeres seven Hakafos with the Sifrei Torah in great joy and dancing. Even after completing the Hakafos in one Shul, if one arrives to another Shul who has yet to complete the dancing, he is to join them in the dancing and rejoicing. [Practically, the Chabad custom is to perform seven Hakafos on the night of Shemini Atzeres, just as is performed on the night of Simchas Torah. See Halacha 6E for all the details regarding Hakafos! Other communities do not perform Hakafos on the night of Shemini Atzeres.]
  • In Eretz Yisrael, where Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah coincide, the Simchas Torah Hakafos takes place during Maariv prayers.

 

  1. The meal:
  • Kiddush: The blessing of Shehechiyanu is to be recited by Kiddush. In Eretz Yisrael that Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah coincide, it is customary for all men to say their own Kiddush.
  • Not to dip the bread in honey: On Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah one does not dip the bread of Hamotzi in honey.
  • Marital relations: Marital relations is initially avoided on Simchas Torah unless it is the night of Mikveh or one has a strong desire.

  1. Shacharis:
  • There were times [in the minyan of the Previous Rebbe] when a point was made of completing Shacharis on Shemini Atzeres before midday.
  • Hakafos: Hakafos is not done on Shemini Atzeres day. This applies even according to those accustomed to performing Hakafos on the night of Shemini Atzeres. In Israel, where Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah coincide, the Simchas Torah Hakafos takes place during Shacharis prayers. See Halacha 6!
  • Torah Reading: Two scrolls are removed from the ark. The portion of “Kol Bechor” from Parshas Re’eh is read from the first Torah scroll. Five Aliyos are called up to read from the first Torah scroll and if Shemini Atzeres falls on Shabbos, then seven Aliyos are called up. Maftir is read from the second Torah scroll, from the portion of “Bayom Hashmini Atzeres.” The Haftorah is read from Melachim I 8:54-66, from Vayehi Kechalos Shlomo until UleYisrael Amo.
  • In Israel, where Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah coincide, three Torah scrolls are removed from the ark. From the first Torah scroll one reads from Vezos Habracha until the end of the Torah. From the second Torah scroll one reads from Bereishis until the words “Asher Bara Elokim Laasos.” From the third Torah scroll Maftir is read from “Ubayom Hashemini Atzeres.” See Halacha 6G!

  1. Yizkor:
  • Yizkor is said on Shemini Atzeres. In Eretz Yisrael, Yizkor takes place after the recital of Sisu Vesimcha, prior to the recital of Ashreiy.
  • No Minyan: Yizkor may be recited even if a Minyan is not present.
  • Who remains in Shul? All those who have a parent which have passed away remain in the Shul. Those which both of their parents are alive are to leave the Shul.
  • Candle: It is not the Chabad custom to light a candle for Yizkor. The Rebbe and Rebbe Rayatz did not light Yizkor candles.
  • Aliyah: It is not the custom to be particular to receive an Aliyah on the day of Yizkor.
  • How to mention the name: One is to mention the name of the Niftar together with the name of his mother during Yizkor, such as Eliezer Ben Bashe Leah. One does not mention his father’s name.
  • Mentioning the Rabbeim: It is customary amongst Chassidim to mention the name of the Rabbeim that they were Chassidim of in Yizkor. This has an effect on the Chassid saying it.
  • Mentioning men and women separately: Men and women are to be mentioned separately in Yizkor.
  • Holding on to the Eitz Chaim: The Chabad custom is to take hold of the Eitz Chaim while reciting Yizkor. This was the custom of the Rebbe Rayatz.  
  • Charity: One is to pledge charity during Yizkor on behalf of the soul of the deceased.
  • Yizkor during the first year of Aveilus: When Yizkor is taking place during the first year of Aveilus, the mourner remains in Shul for Yizkor, although he does not recite anything while there. He is not to recite the Yizkor even quietly. One who is still prior to the first Yahrzeit, but is past 12 months of mourning, is to remain in Shul and recite Yizkor regularly. If one is within the year of one parent and past the year for another parent, then only the parent’s name that is past the year is to be mentioned in Yizkor.

  1. Mashiv Haruach Umorid Hageshem:
  • Mashiv Haruach Umorid Hageshem is recited beginning from Musaf of Shemini Atzeres. On Shemini Atzeres prior to the silent Musaf the Chazan announces Mashiv Haruach Umorid Hageshem and it is then recited in the Musaf prayer and every prayer thereafter. See Chapter 7 Halacha 3 for the full details of this matter!
  • If a person who is not praying with a different minyan heard the announcement of Mashiv Haruach Umorid Hageshem before praying Shacharis, then he should say this phrase in Shacharis as well [as in Musaf].

  1. Shnayim Mikra:
  • On the eve of Simchas Torah [i.e. Shemini Atzeres in the Diaspora; Hoshana Raba in Eretz Yisrael] one is to read the Parsha of Vezos Habracha, Shnayim Mikra V’echad Targum.

  1. Entering the Sukkah towards the conclusion of Shemini Atzeres:
  • In the Diaspora, with the approach of sunset on the afternoon of Shemini Atzeres one enters the Sukkah (and eats or drinks something there) to bid it farewell. It is not the Chabad custom to recite the prayer that begins Yehi Ratzon upon taking leave of the Sukkah.

  1. Preparing on the 1st day of Yom Tov on behalf of the 2nd day of Yom Tov or Shabbos:

See Halacha 2I!

  1. Simchas Torah:
  2. Mitzvah to rejoice:
  • It is customary to refer to the last day of Yom Tov as Simchas Torah. This is due to the rejoicing and festive alcoholic meals that is made in honor of the completion of the Torah.
  • Rejoicing: It is a Mitzvah to rejoice on Simchas Torah, in all ways possible. It is the custom of the Jewish people – and hence it is Torah – to rejoice on Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah even more than at Simchas Beis HaShoevah, and more than on a usual Yom-Tov. One is not to nullify any custom which has traditionally been done for the sake of expressing joy on Simchas Torah.
  • Joy of a Mitzvah and not of frivolity and aggression: The Mitzvah to rejoice on Simchas Torah is to have a true joy of a Mitzvah and not the frivolous joy that some express. Those who use aggression to express their “joy” and hence push and hit people, are not fulfilling this Mitzvah of rejoicing, and on the contrary, they cause others to distance themselves from the true rejoicing of the Mitzvah.
  • Time is precious-Dance! The Rebbe Rayatz stated in the name of his father, the Rebbe Rashab, that the forty-eight hours of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah should be dearly cherished, for at each moment one can draw bucketsful and barrelsful of treasures both material and spiritual, and this is accomplished through dancing.
  • The joy of the Simchas Torah is a celebration of the G-dly revelation caused through the fulfillment of a custom of Jewry. The entire concept of Hakafos is a custom of the prophets and is not written of in the written Torah and was not received through oral tradition, but was rather accustomed by the prophets. This is the celebration of the connection of the Jewish people and the Torah. It is the celebration of the Torah itself, above the oral and written aspects of the Torah. Therefore, the joy of Simchas Torah far surpasses that of the Simchas Beis Hashoeiva, and all Jews are able to participate in this joy.

  1. Eating and sleeping in the Sukkah on Simchas Torah:
  • On Simchas Torah, one does not eat or sleep in the Sukkah. Furthermore, it is even forbidden to eat/sleep in the Sukkah on Simchas Torah unless one makes some form of recognition that shows that the Sukkah no longer maintains its holiness and Mitzvah. For example, in Eretz Yisrael where Erev Simchas Torah is Hoshana Raba, one is to remove a 4×4 Tefach area of Sechach from the roofing to show that he is not intending to stay in it for the sake of the Mitzvah. In the Diaspora where Erev Simchas Torah is Shemini Atzeres, and one is thus unable to remove the Sechach due to Muktzah, one is required to enter into it pots and pans and the like to show that the Sukkah is invalid, and its Mitzvah has completed. The above is only required on Simchas Torah, however, after Simchas Torah there is no need to make any recognition of the Sukkah’s invalidation and one may continue to eat and sleep in it if he chooses, [so long as he does not intend to do so for the Mitzvah]. [The above is only required if one plans to eat or sleep in the Sukkah on Simchas Torah, otherwise there is no need for any of these recognitions to be done.]
  • Removing furniture from the Sukkah: See previous Halacha regarding Shemini Atzeres!

  1. The Maariv Davening:
  • The Maariv prayer includes the regular Yom Tov Maariv and Shemoneh Esrei which is then followed by Kaddish Shaleim. In Chabad Shul’s the custom is to now hold a Farbrengen. This is then followed by Ata Hareisa three times, Hakafos, and Aleinu.
  • Increasing lights in Shul: One should increase the amount of lights in the Shul in honor of the Sifrei Torah that are removed. [In previous times this was accomplished by lighting more candles. Nowadays, one is to arrange before Yom Tov for there to be more lights than usual in the Shul.]

  1. The Simchas Torah meal:
  • It is customary to hold festive meals [at night and by day] with alcohol [i.e. Seudas Mishteh] in honor of the completion of the Torah. [The holding of these festivities and festive meals is very important, as it shows our joy of the Torah and elevates its honor. Those who have nullified the accustomed tradition of holding these feasts are doing a grave sin, as they have festive meals for other occasions, but for the Torah they feel no need. This is a great belittlement of the Torah.]
  • Kiddush: On the night of Simchas Torah it is customary for all [men] to say Kiddush themselves. The blessing of Shehechiyanu is said by Kiddush. On Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah one does not dip the slice of bread in honey. On Simchas Torah one does not dip the bread of Hamotzi in honey. One is to drink wine by the meal in fulfillment of Simchas Yom Tov. It is customary amongst Chassidim to drink alcohol in order to enter one into the joyous spirit.

  1. Hakafos-Dancing:
  • Dancing: Although generally it is forbidden to dance on Shabbos and Yom Tov, on Simchas Torah it is permitted to dance while singing praise for the Torah, as this is in honor of the Torah.
  • Hakafos: It is customary to remove all the Sifrei Torah in the Heichal by both night, by Maariv, and day, by Shacharis, and sing song and praise. Each place is to do like their custom. The custom is to encircle the Bima in the Shul, just as is done with the Lulav [during Hoshanos]. All this is done as a sign of joy. [One dances Hakafos on both days and nights with extreme joy. The Rebbe Rashab said that one draws down abundance of physical and spiritual blessing through the joy of dancing by Hakafos.]
  • Hakafos may be performed even without a Minyan.
  • Many are accustomed to allowing the women to come into the men’s Shul to watch the Hakafos.
  • Placing a candle in the Aron: Some are accustomed to place a candle in the Aron after removing the Sifrei Torah for Hakafos. Some Poskim, however, negate this custom, as it is forbidden to enter anything into an Aron other than Sifrei Torah.
  • How many Hakafos to perform: Some communities are accustomed to performing three Hakafos. Other perform seven Hakafos like on Hoshana Raba. Practically, each place is to do in accordance to their custom. The Chabad custom is to do seven full Hakafos during the night dancing while at the daytime of Simchas Torah three-and-a-half circuits are made, though the text for the Hakafos is read in its entirety.
  • How many Torah scrolls are removed from the Ark? The custom is to remove all the scrolls from the Ark both by night and day as stated above. [The custom is to dance also with the Pasul Sifrei Torah, and they are not considered Muktzah in this regard. Nevertheless, one may not deliberately leave a Pasul Sefer Torah in the Aron for this purpose, and hence a Sefer Torah which cannot be fixed is to be placed in Geniza. This is opposed to the general custom which allows leaving Pasul Sifrei Torah to use for Hakafos.]
  • May one bring Torah scrolls from other Shuls? One may not do so as it is forbidden to bring a Torah scroll for temporary residence, although there are those who permit doing so on Simchas Torah.
  • May one sit during Hakafos? In general, it is forbidden to sit when the Sefer Torah is taken out of the Aron until it is settled on the Bima. However, many are accustomed to being lenient and sit. Practically, those who sit have upon whom to rely especially if they feel weak, however those who are meticulous remain standing throughout the time, unless they are holding a Sefer Torah.
  • May an Avel dance during Hakafos? Some Poskim rule it is forbidden for an Avel [within Shloshim, or within the first 12 months of mourning for a parent] to participate in the Hakafos on Simchas Torah. Other Poskim rule it is permitted for him to participate. Practically, the Chabad custom is that a mourner is not to participate in the Hakafos alone, but rather with an escort. [He is to take hold of the Sefer Torah and have another person hold his arm while encircling the Bima. Alternatively, another person takes hold of the Sefer Torah, and the Avel holds onto the Eitz Chaim while encircling.] According to all, he may watch the Hakafos from the side. If he was offered to join the Hakafos, some write that he may not refuse due to the prohibition of showing public Aveilus. A mourner may not participate in Hakafos Sheniyos in the event that music is playing. If no music is playing, he may participate with an escort, as stated above.
  • Reading the Torah at night: On the night of Simchas Torah, it is customary to read the portion of Nedarim from the Torah Scroll. Each community is to follow their custom in this matter. [Practically, it is not the Chabad custom to read the Torah publicly on the night of Simchas Torah.]
  • Joining the Hakafos of other Shuls: Even after completing the Hakafos in one Shul, if one arrives to another Shul who has yet to complete the dancing, he is to join them in the dancing and rejoicing.
  • Resolve to spread Torah during Kerias Shema Al Hamita: It is known to all that during the reading of Shema Yisrael said in Kerias Shema Sheal Hamita of Simchas Torah, one needs to accept upon himself the resolution of dedication towards spreading Torah knowledge in a way of Mesirus Nefesh of the body, soul, and spirit. This is to be his entire essence.
  • Intimacy: Marital relations are initially avoided on Simchas Torah unless it is the night of Mikveh or one has a strong desire.

  1. Shacharis:
  • The order of Shacharis follows a regular Yom Tov Davening until after Hallel. Kaddish Shaleim is recited after Hallel. This is then followed by a Kiddush Farbrengen, which is then followed by Ata Hareisa.
  • Birchas Kohanim: On Simchas Torah it is customary for the Kohanim to recite Birchas Kohanim by Shacharis in place of Musaf. [The Birchas Kohanim by Shacharis is done with the accustomed Niggun sang by the Birchas Kohanim of Musaf of all Holidays.]
  • The day Hakafos: During the day of Simchas Torah the custom is to only perform 3.5 circles around the Bima as opposed to seven. Nevertheless, all seven liturgies of Hakafos is read. Thus, one reads a single Hakafa for every half circle of the Bimah, for a total of seven half circles corresponding to the reading of the seven Hakafos. All 3.5 circles of Hakafos are performed consecutively without dancing in between or placing Sefer Torah back in Aron or even announcing “Ad Kan Hakafa…”. After the conclusion of the 3.5 circles the congregation dances. At the conclusion the Sefer Torah is returned to the Aron without saying anything.
  • Chitas: On Simchas Torah one is to read the Chumash and Rashi of Vezos Habracha from that days Aliyah until the conclusion of the Parsha. One is likewise to read the Chumash and Rashi of Bereishis, from Rishon until that days Aliyah. Nevertheless, one is not heaven forbid to diminish from the rejoicing of Simchas Torah in order to read the section of Bereishis and one is rather only to do so on his free time when he is in any event not involved in the rejoicing of Simchas Torah. [Thus, one who is unable to complete the learning of Bereishis on Simchas Torah due to the rejoicing is to complete it then next day on Isru Chag.]

  1. The Torah reading:
  • Ata Hareisa, Vayehi Binsoa and the thirteen Middos are recited prior to Kerias Hatorah, as is done on all Holidays.
  • The reading and Torah scrolls: Three Torah scrolls are removed from the ark. From the first Torah scroll one reads six Aliyos from Vezos Habracha until the end of the Torah. From the second Torah scroll one reads a seventh Aliyah from Bereishis until the words “Asher Bara Elokim Lasos.” From the third Torah scroll, the same Maftir as yesterday is read, from “Ubayom Hashemini Atzeres.” For the Haftorah one reads from Yehoshua “Vayehi Acharei Mos Moshe.” If the congregation only has two Torah scrolls then Vezos Habracha is read from the first scroll, Bereishis is read from the second scroll, and the first Sefer Torah is returned and used for the reading of Maftir. [This however only applies if the first scroll is rolled to the third Parsha prior to its Hagba. If, however the first scroll was not rolled to the third Parsha prior to its Hagba, then it is better to read the third Parsha from the second scroll.]
  • Each man gets an Aliyah: It is customary to increase in calling up people for Aliyos on Simchas Torah. Practically, the custom is for every male to receive an Aliyah. To facilitate this, the Parsha is repeated many times [until Shishi, Meona Elokim Kedem]. Alternatively, many people may be called up for the same Aliyah, such as many Kohanim for the Aliya of Kohen, and many Levi’im for the Aliyah of Levi. Nonetheless, there are Poskim who question this custom. In any event, it is best when doing so that only one person says the blessing and all the others be Yotzei with him.
  • On Simchas Torah relatives may be called up one after the other for Chasan Torah and Chasan Bereishis, and some say this may be done for all the Aliyos.
  • If there are many Kohanim and Levi’im present, they may be given the 4th or 5th Aliyah after the regular order of Kohen, Levi and Yisrael. In such a case it is proper to repeat the order of Kohen, Levi, Yisrael.
  • A Kohen or Levi may receive Chasan Torah or Chasan Bereishis.
  • An Avel prior to Shiva may receive an Aliyah during Simchas Torah. However, some write he is not to be called up as one of the 5 required Aliyos.
  • Kol Hanearim: It is a worldly custom that on Simchas Torah all the male children receive an Aliyah to the Torah. This Aliyah is customarily known as Kol Hanearim. [It is customary for many children to go up together. It is customary to spread a Tallis over the heads of the children during this Aliyah.] It is likewise customary to recite the Parsha of Hamalach Hagoel [after the conclusion of the reading]. [Practically, the Chabad custom is not to spread a Tallis over the heads of the children during the Aliyah of Kol Hanearim. Likewise, it is not customary to read the verses of Hamalach Hagoel. One is to have at least one adult above Bar Mitzvah called up together with the children for this Aliyah. The adult is to say the blessings out load and have all the children listen and be Yotzei rather than have all the children say the blessing themselves. Nonetheless, some are accustomed to have all the children recite the blessings themselves. The Chabad custom is to have the adult Olah recite the blessing on behalf of all the children who cannot say it themselves. Some are accustomed to bringing their son with them for their personal Aliya rather than have the child go up for Kol Hanearim.]
  • Chasan Torah/Bereishis: It is customary for the Chasan Torah and Chasan Bereishis to donate towards the Shul and arrange for a communal feast to be held. It is customary to call up even a child for Chasan Torah, and it is not necessary to give the Aliyah specially to a Torah scholar, even though there are opinions who require this to be done. [It is not the Chabad custom to spread a Tallis as a canopy over the heads of the Chasan Torah or Chasan Bereishis when they are called to the public reading of the Torah].  
  • Reciting Chazak Chazak Venischazek: The person who is called to the reading of the concluding passage of the Torah is to say the words Chazak, Chazak, Venischazek together with the rest of the congregation.
  • Sisu Vesimcha: The prayer of Sisu Vesimcha is recited after the Maftir and Haftorah, prior to Yizkor.
  • Yizkor: In the Diaspora, Yizkor is recited on Shemini Atzeres and not on Simchas Torah. See Halacha 5G!

Hakafos Sheniyos in Eretz Yisrael:

In Eretz Yisrael, the custom based on the Arizal, is to perform Hakafos Sheniyos with live music and dancing on their Motzei Simchas Torah, corresponding to the night of Simchas Torah in the Diaspora. The custom is to perform the regular order of seven Hakafos with the Sefer Torah, with Ata Horeisa being said three times. The Arizal would dance with all his might also by these Hakafos of Moztei Simchas Torah and was very careful to perform seven Hakafos as was done on the previous night. The Rebbe very much encouraged this custom and would send letters of blessing for the event.

 

About The Author

Leave A Comment?

You must be logged in to post a comment.